Former Atlanta Falcons returner extraordinaire Devin Hester will be missed at Flowery Branch. His first year in Atlanta was incredible: he broke Deion Sanders' return TD record, provided veteran leadership, and played solidly at receiver. That all changed in 2015 and earlier this week, the Falcons officially cut the future Hall of Famer.
After the Falcons cut Hester on Wednesday, lots of you took pity on him, believing this was a sad way for arguably the best returner in NFL history to conclude his amazing career. And now it appears he may not be done. (Credit to ESPN's talented Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure for the quote.)
"Teams already have tried to sign me, but I'm not ready to go," Hester said. "We told teams that I'm not ready to practice, still rehabbing." The initial timeline for recovery was up to six months [and if he] is unable to fully recover over the next two months, the four-time Pro Bowler plans to step away from the game. "If I'm not healthy enough to play by October, I'm going to retire," Hester said, adding there's "no question" he wants to ultimately retire as a Chicago Bear.
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it shows there are teams more desperate for a returner than we are. (According to McClure, seven teams reached out.) Sure, Devin Fuller, Eric Weems, Tevin Coleman, and Justin Hardy are less established options. But that doesn't seem to bother the Falcons
This is also interesting because it provides some context. Hester isn't really hiding the uncertainty surrounding his recovery. To be frank, he's not even close.